How can I claim back VAT?
Tourists who purchase goods at shops participating in the Retail Export Scheme may apply for a refund if they intend to leave Britain for a final destination outside the European Union within three months of the date of purchase. Visitors should ascertain before making their purchase whether or not a refund will be available.
- At the time of the purchase the retailer will ask to see a passport to establish the customer's eligibility for the refund scheme.
- Both parties should then complete the refund document provided by the retailer (form VAT 407 or a refund company voucher).
- The VAT form or refund voucher must be presented with the goods for certification by HM Customs and Excise when the customer departs from the European Union. Forms cannot be certified after departure from the EU.
- The certified form should then be sent to the retailer or funding company, and the claim will be processed and a refund cheque (in sterling) sent to the purchaser. Alternatively, the form may be handed in at the refunding company office at the airport for an immediate refund, if applicable.
- Any correspondence about non-receipt of funds should be sent to the retailer or refunding company, not HM Customs and Excise or British Government Offices.
A brochure is published by:
|The Southbank VAT Centre|
|HM Customs and Excise|
|Dorset House, Stamford Street|
|London SE1 9PY, UK|
|Tel: +44 207 202 4087|
Where can I find out about the BBC World Service?
To find out the frequencies for the BBC World Service write to:
|BBC World Service,|
|PO Box 76, Bush House|
|Strand, London WC2B 4PH, UK.|
|Telephon: +44 207 240 3456|
|Fax: +44 207 379 6841|
In addition, the BBC Worldwide Magazine, available by subscription (contact address above), publishes a complete listing and regular updates of frequencies.
What are the regulations for repatriating deceased people to Britain?
All deaths must be registered in the country where death occurs. The local police or the British Consul can give advice on how to do this. The death may also be registered at the British Consulate, and by doing so a British death certificate may be obtained. In certain countries British Consulates cannot issue death certificates. These are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa and Zimbabwe. British Consuls can also provide a list of local funeral directors and advise on the transport of the deceased back to Britain.
Where can I find the address of...?
The British Council
|The British Council Berlin|
|Tel: (0049) - (0)30 31 10 99 0|
|Fax:(0049) - (0)30 31 10 99 20|
The British Tourist Authority
|London SW1A 1AA|
British Government departments
These are listed in the telephone directory (Central London area) and in parliamentary guides such as the PMS Parliamentary Companion, or access all Government departments on the Government's website:
Members of Parliament
10 Downing Street(Office of the Prime Minister)
National newspapers are listed in the Willings Press Guide published by:
|Reed Information Services|
|East Grinstead House|
|West Sussex RH89 1XA, UK|
|The Conservative and Unionist Party:|
|Tel: +44 207 222 9000|
|Fax: +44 207 222 1135|
|Tel: +44 207 701 1234|
|Fax: +44 207 234 3300|
|Tel: +44 207 222 7999|
|Fax: +44 207 799 2170|
UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is the central agency which acts on behalf of all British universities and most colleges of higher education. The UCAS Handbook lists the names and addresses of all British universities, together with details of their degree courses.
|Universities and Colleges Admissions Service|
|Cheltenham, Gloucs GL50 3SH|
|Tel: +44 1242 222 444|
|Fax: +44 1242 221 622|
Alternatively, your nearest British Council Office should be able to provide details of British universities and their addresses.
If you do not find the information you are looking for please contact the British Embassy in Berlin at email@example.com.
The texts presented here have been placed with friendly approval of the British embassy on non-commercial basis. You find further information about Great Britain and the UK on the web pages of the British embassy named below.
Contact: British Embassy, Wilhelmstr. 70-71,
10117 Berlin, Germany Tel +49 (0)30 20457-0